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URAC sets standards for community pharmacy, advances dialogue about pharmacists as medication experts
Date:8/6/2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The role of the community pharmacist is changing from direct dispensing to a more clinical focus as a vital link in the chain of patient care. URAC, a leading health care accreditation, education, and measurement organization, will explore this evolution and the impact it has on community pharmacy practice in an Aug. 22 webinar featuring Terry McInnis, MD, president of Blue Thorn, Inc. The webinar, "Medication Experts in Our Midst: Comprehensive Medication Management and the Community Pharmacy," coincides with URAC's call for comment on its new Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards.

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Coordinated care systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the medical home provide an unprecedented opportunity for pharmacists to advance their roles as medication experts, patient educators and critical members of the care team. As patients navigate a complex health care system with multiple physicians and care settings, the pharmacist serves as a valued provider of clinical pharmaceutical care by linking medications and their use directly to the overall care goals.

"Today, because of advances in technology and the advent of a range of new medications, many conditions that were once treated in hospitals are managed on an outpatient basis," said Janice Anderson, R.Ph., URAC's director of pharmacy programs. "The proper use of prescription medications can contribute to improved care outcomes, lower overall health care costs and safer care delivery." The webinar, which will provide 1.5 continuing education units for pharmacists, will discuss changes in the health care delivery system that affect community pharmacies and outline the critical steps in comprehensive medication management and how these relate directly to the discovery and resolution of drug therapy i
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